The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Egypt: Resources and Interviews

“There’s a Reason Public Opinion in the the Arab World Isn’t Pro-American”


Note on Internet: With major protests planned for Friday, the
Egyptian government late Thursday disconnected the Internet and Egyptian
mobile phones. People are finding some ways of overcoming this. The
Institute for Public Accuracy is highlighting online connections that are available via -- regularly updating all day Friday.


Professor of political science and international studies at Richmond
University and currently visiting at the American University in Cairo,
Carapico told the Institute for Public Accuracy shortly before phone
lines were cut: "Earlier this week Hillary Clinton said that Egypt is
'stable' -- but Egyptians are not interested in stability. They're
interested in change. Then, she urged 'restraint' by 'both sides.' This
is an absurd statement. You have people protesting for democracy who are
being assaulted by a massive state apparatus with rubber bullets, tear
gas, water cannons.

"The women [in the protests] are unveiled. That's a strong indication
these protests are not from the Muslim Brotherhood. For the past ten or
more years we've been indicating that the reason we don't want the Arab
electorate to take over is because we don't want the Brotherhood. Now
we've backed off from that to say this may not be the Brotherhood, but
it's not pro-American. But I'm sorry, there's a reason why public
opinion in the Arab world isn't pro-American. And that's because
American foreign policy isn't pro-public opinion in the Arab world.

"The expectation that somehow there's going to be this uprising in Egypt
or Yemen or Lebanon or Palestine or Tunisia or Algeria or Jordan in
favor of American foreign policy when American foreign policy is
completely dedicated to
lies about what the Israelis do, what Mubarak does, what [Yemeni
leader] Ali Abdullah Saleh does and what [deposed Tunisian President]
Ben Ali does [isn't realistic]. Of course people are not going to rise
up in favor of that."

Carapico is author of Civil Society in Yemen: The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia.


Mahmoud is with the Alliance of Egyptian Americans,
which, with the Coalition of Egyptian Organizations, is holding a news
conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at noon ET and
will hold a protest in front of the White House shortly after. Protests
are also scheduled in front of the Egyptian embassy on Saturday at
noon. In a statement, the groups urge the U.S. government "to support
the Egyptian people's struggle to achieve freedom and social justice.
President Hosny Mubarak has shown very little respect for those
legitimate demands. ...

"We are very concerned about Secretary Clinton's statement regarding
the stability of the Mubarak government. Secretary Clinton reiterated
her support for Mubarak again when she indicated that his government is
capable of reform. The United States should instead join France,
Germany, and the European Community in condemning the killing of
innocent civilians and the arrest of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators
in Egypt. ... The ruthless oppression of peaceful demonstrators by the
security apparatus of Mubarak in the last four days and the large budget
of the security forces are proof that this regime does not value
freedom of speech or assembly and indicates total disregard for the
demands for constitutional reform, free elections and ending martial


Seif Da'Na is an associate professor of sociology and international
studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside specializing in the
Mideast and North Africa. On Tuesday, he was featured on an IPA news release stating that the popular movements indicated the "beginning of a new era" in the region.

He notes that economic policies pursued by the the regimes being
protested were favored by the Western powers and the International
Monetary Fund.


Talhami is emeritus professor in the department of politics at Lake
Forest College. Her books include "The Mobilization of Muslim Women in
Egypt." She said today: "These demonstrations were not staged by the
Muslim Brotherhood but were spontaneous outbreaks by economically and
politically marginalized youths and secular elements."


Zunes is professor of politics
at the University of San Francisco and a contributor to Foreign Policy
in Focus. He just wrote the piece "U.S. Continues to Back Egyptian Dictatorship in the Face of Pro-Democracy Uprising."

He also just wrote "The United States and the Prospects for Democracy in Islamic Countries."

WikiLeaks this morning has released more documents on Egypt. For a summary, see:

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.